Stray incidents of clashes and altercations reported at a few booths in Visakhapatnam.
The second phase of panchayat polls, held in six mandals in Visakhapatnam and 10 mandals of Narsipatnam Division on Saturday, passed off peacefully by and large barring stray incidents of clashes and altercations at a few booths.
The second phase of elections held for the posts of 325 sarpanches and 2,795 posts of ward members in Visakhapatnam and Narsipatnam divisions in the district witnessed brisk polling. More than 60 per cent polling was observed in the first three hours in all the six mandals in Visakhapatnam Division and over 70 per cent polling was observed in five of the 10 mandals in Narsipatnam Division.
At the end of the day, Pendurthi mandal in Visakhapatnam Division witnessed the highest polling of 93.2 per cent and Nakkapalli in Narsipatnam Division registered the lowest turnout of 81 per cent. The total polling percentage in both divisions put together was 89.63 per cent. Serpentine queues were seen at the Vemulapudi polling station, which had a total of 6,800 votes. Of the three sarpanch candidates in the fray, one was a relative of Narsipatnam MLA Bolem Mutyala Papa. Around 50 per cent voting was completed by 10:30 a.m.
Overzealous supporters of a candidate literally carried an old woman all the way to the polling booth to enable her exercise her franchise. They left her under a tree after she cast her vote! Another old woman, who couldn’t walk without support, was lifted by her shoulders by two men on either side.
Bandaru Srilakshmi, a young woman who gave birth to a baby girl on Friday night, came to the polling station at Vemulapudi to cast her vote. When someone asked: “Why didn’t you bring your baby?”
“She doesn’t have a vote,” she replied innocently.
In Marupaka village of Raavikamatam mandal, one person was said to have been injured in a clash between two groups belonging to the TDP and Congress. They were dispersed by the police. Narsipatnam ASP Vishal Gunni went round the polling booths in Narsipatnam Division and reviewed the situation. He pulled up a polling agent for trying to enter a booth without proper authorisation at Kothakota.